Pediatricians have long recommended that infants sleep on flat surfaces without restraints. But Fisher-Price’s inclined Rock n’ Play sleepers required babies to being buckled into the sleeper, and was marketed with phrases such as “baby can sleep at a comfy incline all night long.”
That same sleeper has now been linked to at least 32 deaths, and all models of Rock ’n Play Sleepers by Fisher-Price are being recalled after alarming reports of infant fatalities occurring while using the product recently became public.
Now, as lawsuits begin to mount against Fisher-Price and its parent company Mattel over this dangerous product, one of the key issues being cited is Fisher-Price’s deceptive marketing. One lawsuit has accused Fisher-Price of lobbying government officials to skirt regulations that could have blocked it from being sold, a claim that is supported by recent investigative reporting. But the company continues to stand buy their product and is apparently trying to shift blame to consumers. Fisher-Price is claiming that the reported death have resulted from the sleeper’s being “used contrary to safety warnings and instructions” to buckle babies in with the harness and avoid putting other items in the sleeper.
The New York Times has just reported that consumer safety watchdogs criticized Fisher-Price for waiting years to initiate a recall after first hearing about suffocations linked to the sleeper. Instead, they said, “The company let the government issue vague warnings that got little attention.” In 2012 the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the FDA had warned against using inclined sleep positioners for babies. The American Academy of Pediatrics has also objected to infant-sleep products that are set at an incline or require restraints.
Since 2005 the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has received over 700 reports about injuries associated with inclined sleepers. Along with Fisher-Price he commission has begun investigating other U.S. companies manufacturing inclined sleepers for infants. One report has already been filed linking the Ingenuity Moonlight sleeper, manufactured by Kids II, to a child’s death.
At Saunders & Walker, we have a long history of protecting consumers from dangerous and deadly products. If you own a Rock n’ Play, or any other inclined sleeper, stop using it immediately. Your child is at risk of injury or death. If your child, or the child of a loved one has been harmed by a Rock n’ Play sleeper, please contact Saunders & Walker immediately at 1-800-748-7115 to discuss your legal options.